The Gantseh Megillah

Making Sense
October 1, 2001

Six weeks have passed since the unfathomable occurred in the United States. Many significant things have changed both in our society and within us as individuals. The very nature of terror is to cause the destruction of a society through fear. We are certainly facing a fearful situation yet giving in allows the terrorists to succeed.

Our enemy’s goal is to upset daily life and to bring our society to a grinding halt. For example, when was the last time you thought twice about opening mail or a parcel? Most of us never really used to think of the possibility of being high jacked or killed while being transported in a commercial aircraft. Suddenly we are all painfully aware of diseases we felt were eradicated years ago. Anthrax, a disease hardly anyone gave a scintilla of thought to, is now appearing in the headlines of our news reports constantly. The legislative branch of the U.S. government was shut down because this disease had invaded the halls of Congress. Three people have died and several others are hospitalized from anthrax! Are we right to be afraid? Of course we are. Now comes the big BUT……

We must not and cannot allow this fear to take over. If we do and we change the foundation of our lifestyle out of fear, our enemies have won. They will have paralyzed us into submission allowing them to dance in victory. Certainly, common sense dictates that we exercise additional awareness, and thoughtful caution is the order of the day.

While it is the police and military that have the vast armory of weapons being used to fight this war on terrorism, we as citizens have a weapon as well. It is a weapon that hits the terrorists at the heart of their campaign of fear. It is a weapon that constantly reminds the terrorists that they cannot win this war. And although this weapon is powerful when aimed properly, it is also an extremely simple weapon to use. At the risk of sounding crude I shall tell you exactly what this weapon is that each and every one of us possess.

It is our middle finger.

Show it proudly to our enemies by letting them see that they have not scared us into submission. Go to work; attend your classes; travel freely; do everything and anything you would normally do without hesitation. Unflinching determination is the most effective way to show terrorists our universal weapon.

I am pleased to announce that the Gantseh Megillah is doing its share as well. A contribution was made in the name of the Megillah Family to the telethon held for the benefit of World Trade Centre victims families.

I have been extremely encouraged by the large volume of mail I receive from readers of the Megillah and people who make use of the Glossary of Yiddish Words and Expressions. It does my heart good to know so many individuals find my online Yiddishkeit projects enjoyable, entertaining and helpful. Aside from publishing the Megillah and the Glossary, I spend a large amount of time responding to questions and doing research. The fact is I truly enjoy doing all of this, and I consider it my contribution to the online Jewish community; but I need help. The time and expense is extremely difficult for me to manage on my own.

This is a situation I have mentioned in past columns and many of you have responded with voluntary donations to help me offset the costs of maintaining my Yiddishkeit projects. To each and every one of you who have made a contribution I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. To those who have not yet contributed to these efforts, I am asking once again for your support. Consider it a mitzvah to help keep Yiddishkeit alive on the net. I really am doing my very best, but I cannot do it alone.

Previously donations required sending a check directly to me. I have now made additional arrangements with to permit donations directly by credit card in a totally secure environment. By clicking on the information link you will access a full description of how easy it is to offer your support.

Once again, please be assured that I have every intention of keeping my promise to continue offering all of my Yiddishkeit projects free of charge. I believe it is important to bring the Jewish community together online, and therefore I want to make certain that anybody and everybody can access the information I provide no matter what their financial means.

For those of you who are in a position to assist me, I urge you to do so. If you find the Megillah and/or the Glossary useful; if you enjoy exchanging ideas in the Forum, please show your appreciation and support by clicking on the Tzedakeh box or the Amazon Honor System icon and make a voluntary contribution. Every donation is important, so do not hesitate if all you can afford to give is a small amount. The need is urgent and the support is greatly appreciated.

Enjoy the Megillah! Much love to all of you,

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